The majority of Israelis do not believe the country can prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power, according to a study by the Institute for National Security Studies at Tel Aviv University.

Overall, the study found that most Israelis are far more concerned about social challenges and internal rifts than any external threat.

The data shows that 66 percent of Israelis are more concerned about internal social threats than external ones, with only 27% feeling otherwise.

Some 43% of respondents stated that they were most concerned about the tension between Arabs and Jews in Israel.

Asked to rank the most pressing external threats to Israel, Iran and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict ranked first: Twenty-three percent named a nuclear Iran as the most serious threat to Israel and 21% named the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. An additional 10% said Hamas was the greatest threat to Israel, 15% mentioned terrorist activity, and only 13% named the northern sector, where Israel borders war-torn Syria and Lebanon, home to Iran-backed Shi’ite terrorist group Hezbollah—as the most serious threat.

The study further shows that while 85% of the public believes that “Israel can rely solely on itself” vis-à-vis the external threats it faces, only 45% believe Israel has the operational capability to stop the Iranian nuclear program.

Some 34% believe that Israel cannot do so on its own, while 21% were undecided.

With respect to the northern sector, 40% of Israelis support striking Hezbollah’s precision missile production infrastructure even at the cost of war.

Only 23% prefer bolstering Israel’s missile defenses at the expense of a military offensive, and 16% support reaching an agreement on the issue through international mediation.

As for the internal conflicts in Israeli society, 57% of those polled believed that Israeli democracy was in danger. Some 61% believed that social budgets should be prioritized over the defense budget, 63% that Jews should be allowed to visit the Temple Mount and 39% that Jews should be allowed to pray there.

This article first appeared in Israel Hayom.


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